The Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA Programs will present one of Shakespeare's most popular plays, As You Like It, directed by Heidi Handelsman (Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Programs '14). With clever gender reversals and surprising twists of fate, As You Like It has long been considered one of Shakespeare's most romantic comedies. Performances are Friday November 2 at 7:30PM, Saturday November 3 at 2:00PM and 7:30PM, and Sunday November 4 at 2:00PM in the Citizens Bank Theater, Pell Chafee Performance Center, 87 Empire Street, Providence. General admission is $10, with a $5 admission for seniors and students. Tickets are now on sale at the Trinity Rep box office, by phone (401) 351-4242, and online at trinityrep.com.
Rosalind and Orlando take one look at each other, and they are struck with love; however, this is no easy romance. Both lovers are brutally forced into exile, where Orlando, desperate to learn how to be worthy of his love, and Rosalind, disguised as a boy, find themselves in the fantastic Forest of Arden, a haven for fugitives and runaways. Here the status quo is broken: outcasts speak freely, the pecking order collapses, and love is lawless. As You Like It overflows with hilarious gender-swapping hi-jinx, mistaken identity, song, poetry, romance, and insightful observations into the nature of being human.
"The play reminds me of that first 'smack-in-the-heart' moment of new love, the terrible joy and anxiety that seizes us," says director Heidi Handelsman, "and the wonderfully stupid things new love drives us to do." Handelsman is confident that audiences will leave the theater as inspired as she is by the magical possibilities infused within the play.
The cast features second-year MFA acting students Bridget Saracino (Rosalind), Ben Grills (Orlando), Ted Moller (Touchstone), Nikki Massoud (Celia), Steven Jaehnert (Jacques), Tangela Large (Phoebe), Mark Larson (Silvius and Charles), Ben Chase (Duke Frederick), Alex Curtis (Adam and William), Catherine Dupont (Audrey and Hisperia), Sherri Eldin (Amiens), Greg Fallick (Oliver), Sylvia Kates (Olive Martext), Elise LeBreton (Lady), Zdenko Martin (Duke Senior), Carisa Anik Platt (Le Beau), and Matt E. Russell (Corin).
Heidi Handelsman's directing credits include Principal Principle (Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep), A Bright Room Called Day (Brown/Trinity MFA Programs) and He Is Here He Says I Say (Writing is Live, Brown University). She has developed new plays at New Georges, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Youngblood, the Woodshed Collective, NYU/Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, and the New York International Fringe Festival. Handelsman is a New Georges Affiliated Artist and a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, and was a 2010-2011 Resident Director at Ensemble Studio Theatre. She is an MFA candidate in Directing at Brown University / Trinity Rep. When in New York, Heidi hosts and curates the Potluck, a play-reading series.
The Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA Programs provides a three-year professional training program for eighteen students under the auspices of an Ivy League University and Rhode Island's Tony Award-winning theater company. Brown University's Department of Theatre, Speech and Dance is internationally recognized for the quality of its faculty and instruction. Trinity Rep, with its deep tradition of resident artists, provides powerful artistic assets and creates a firm foundation for a new generation of theater artists.